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Keeping Pace with Digital Music Consumers

A new study by global market research firm Ipsos indicates that interest in viewing music videos, photos, TV shows and even full-length movies from these MP3 players is especially strong among younger consumers who have experience downloading music.

New findings released from the company�s quarterly study of digital music behaviors, show that 20 percent of Americans aged 12 and older now own a portable MP3 player. This marks a significant increase over ownership levels found one year ago (15 percent), and nearly double the proportion of owners found in April 2003 (11 percent). And in a sign that not only new buyers are driving this trend, 6 percent of Americans own more than one portable MP3 player.

Total headphone-MP3 sales reached $4.23 billion in 2005, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. These popular devices accounted for 85 percent of all factory-level portable audio sales last year, CEA statistics showed. Recent research also revealed some interesting demographic and diagnostic trends surrounding the use of Portable MP3 Players:

- Younger Americans are driving recent growth, with over half of teens now owning a Portable MP3 Player (54% percent), and one third of 18-34 year olds (30 percent). Older Americans are less likely to own these devices overall, but still represent a sizable and consistent presence in the market (13 percent of 35 � 54 year olds report owning a Portable MP3 Player).

- Males continue to lead females in Portable MP3 Player ownership, with nearly one quarter (24 percent) of U.S. males aged 12 and older owning a device, compared to 16% percent of females.

- Nearly half of music downloaders own a portable MP3 player (48 percent), and these owners use their devices an average of 12 hours per week. Younger downloaders use their MP3 Players more often (average of over 16 hours per week among teens), but have less digital content stored on their devices. Overall, there is an average of 700 songs or files stored on a U.S. music downloader�s MP3 player.

- Existing CD collections continue to be the primary source of MP3 Player content among music downloaders. Nearly half (44 percent) of the content stored on MP3 players is ripped from the owner�s personal CD collection, and another 6 percent is ripped from others� CD collections. Fee-based downloads (25 percent) and files obtained from file sharing services (19 percent) are also common sources of content.

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